Why I also returned my BlackBerry PlayBook


After using the BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet for about a month, I have also decided to return it. Not because it is a bad device, but because the applications I use aren't really polished and some don't use full screen. Also, because I'm not a BlackBerry phone user, I can't use the device in a work environment since I don't have email, calendar, and contacts apps.

The PlayBook is already a solid device and will only get better over time, especially when it is able to run Android apps, but right now it's just not for me.

Even though RIM has officially made the announcement that email, calendar, and contacts apps are coming, there is one big important feature for me that has not really been mentioned. That is, will the calendar and contacts app be able to sync with Google?

I have all my devices syncing so that whether I pick up my Galaxy Tab, iPad 2, or the Xoom, I can make changes on the road and always have up to date information I need daily for work.

For email I just use K-9 for Android and the email app on the iPad 2. I use Dropbox quite often to store photos or documents that I am working on; there is a app called BlueBox for the PlayBook but when I checked it out, I was only able to see the files and organize them in my Dropbox account.

I could use Google docs in the great browser that RIM developed, but I need more of an app like Documents to Go to edit and create Word and Excel documents for work. This works great on the Galaxy Tab.

BB PlayBook FeedList 2I installed FeedList on the PlayBook but when you view the feed, it really doesn't use the full screen. You would think that you can navigate and click on the feed and have it show full screen and be able to read it, but you can't.

Again, the app situation should improve in the coming months, as more users will demand a wider selection and developers will create better apps.

BB PlayBook PoyntAnother issue I had was with the GPS, which just wasn't working for me. As I am on the road up to 4 hours a day for my job, I like to use apps like Poynt, Where, and others that give me information that I need. The Poynt app on the PlayBook kept telling me I was in Calgary, Alberta (and I'm definitely not there!). And since GPS wasn't working well, a good mapping app to check traffic while on the road traveling from point A to B was out of reach, making the PlayBook less useful to me on the road. So I always had to carry either my iPad 2 or Galaxy Tab, depending on my destination.

Bluetooth was great on the PlayBook, but I wasn't able to use AD2P to broadcast music from the device. I was able to pair a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse without any problems and browse the web with it, though, so that was nice. And as awesome as the browser was, the one thing that I didn't like was that when you zoomed in past the normal fit, it would render the text like in Android.

Overall the PlayBook is well designed and has a nice feel to it. It is easy to carry as is, but I would have preferred for it be about half an inch smaller all around.

RIM needs to hurry and get some of the improvements released. The PlayBook is a great multi-tasking device with a lot of things going for it like a great bright and clear display, the ability to capture 1080p videos and play them over the mini HDMI very well, great sound due to the speakers being on the side of the bezel and facing you, and solid battery life (about 8-9 hours in my usage). But because of the apps and some of the other issues I mentioned, I just had to return it.

How is the BlackBerry PlayBook working out for you?

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Hector Gomez

Hector Gomez is a former contributing editor at Pocketables.

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6 thoughts on “Why I also returned my BlackBerry PlayBook

  • Avatar of Josh
    May 24, 2011 at 4:45 am

    i…..LOVE IT. within the month there should be some major updates and then my ipad and xoom are heading to ebay

  • Avatar of Robin
    May 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    I carry mine around with me all day long. I love it. I agree RIM is dropping the ball with the long wait for a quality phone to use with it. I’m watching the App World fill up more and more each day but sadly not alot of them are quality ones. With Android and IOS already well established with great apps RIM is at serious disadvantage in that category. The faster they get the core apps delivered the better. Still I love the screen resolution and how easy it is to switch programs or simple just leave them in the background. I can see how people who are letting it go right now might soon have one back in their hands.

  • Avatar of L. MacInnnes
    July 11, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I’m returning mine. The 64GB version. It’s $700 and it’s just a big toy. There is nothing I can think of that I can’t live without. I run a Vancouver Moving and Storage company and there’s nothing any tablet can do that a laptop can’t.

    Many people tell me they love their IPAD…then I ask…where is it? and it’s always like oh it’s at home. However, their wallets and smartphones are alway in their pockets.

    To me, tablets would be a “must have” if people never left home without them.

  • Avatar of vancouver movers
    July 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I should also add to my last statement that if I left home without my watch I would turn the car around to come and get it…Tablet???Not a chance. It’s going back.

  • Avatar of Guru
    December 8, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I am surprised the author of the article is silent on the actual return process. Cause if you bought your playbook on Shopblackberry.com first it’s a nightmare to get through their phone system and then the whole return process is so convoluted it will make you loose your time (half a day at least because you’ll have to call 100 different departments to obtain various ticket numbers) and go crazy. And at the end they will tell you to write them @ [email protected]

    Better to stay away from this product in the 1st place!

  • Avatar of HG
    December 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I picked up the PlayBook on release day at Best Buy, so i didnt have any trouble in returning the PlayBook. It was a very nice device but just doesnt have what i needed.


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